What I’m Not Reading: To the Bright Edge of the World

I just quit listening to the book To the Bright Edge of the World: A Novel by Eowyn Ivey.  I had this book on a waiting list and was really anxious to listen to it.  The book sounded like my sort of book…
historical fiction, exploring the frontier, the story told from more than one perspective….All good things.

For some reason, I did’t love it.  I think part of my problem was that the book was super descriptive but I was chasing a time crunch.  The book was about to expire and I wanted to get to the end….but all these descriptive words were in the way.  Does that make sense?

I  debated about trying to renew it but again, I wasn’t loving it so why?  I ended up not finishing it.  I didn’t like the male reader in the audio book version.  I think the book would have been way better had it been read.  I don’t know if the text the male read was so clinical or if it was the voice of the reader or both.  Either way, when he talked, I felt myself being disconnected to the story.  I ended up not finishing the book.

Then I went to Amazon and read the review.  It made me second guess myself…Here’s the description…In the winter of 1885, decorated war hero Colonel Allen Forrester leads a small band of men on an expedition that has been deemed impossible: to venture up the Wolverine River and pierce the vast, untamed Alaska Territory. Leaving behind Sophie, his newly pregnant wife, Colonel Forrester records his extraordinary experiences in hopes that his journal will reach her if he doesn’t return–once he passes beyond the edge of the known world, there’s no telling what awaits him. 

The Wolverine River Valley is not only breathtaking and forbidding but also terrifying in ways that the colonel and his men never could have imagined. As they map the territory and gather information on the native tribes, whose understanding of the natural world is unlike anything they have ever encountered, Forrester and his men discover the blurred lines between human and wild animal, the living and the dead. And while the men knew they would face starvation and danger, they cannot escape the sense that some greater, mysterious force threatens their lives. 

Meanwhile, on her own at Vancouver Barracks, Sophie chafes under the social restrictions and yearns to travel alongside her husband. She does not know that the winter will require as much of her as it does her husband, that both her courage and faith will be tested to the breaking point. Can her exploration of nature through the new art of photography help her to rediscover her sense of beauty and wonder?

The truths that Allen and Sophie discover over the course of that fateful year change both of their lives–and the lives of those who hear their stories long after they’re gone–forever. ”

Those reviewing went on to give the book 4.6 stars.  Oh my.  That is a really good rating.  Did the book get better?  Did the explorers actually get somewhere?  Were all the starvation entries worth the final result?  I guess I’ll never know and for now, I think I’m okay with that.  Did anyone else read this?  Did I miss a great book?

10 thoughts on “What I’m Not Reading: To the Bright Edge of the World”

  1. I think the reader has a lot to do about liking a book or not. Most readers are good, some are really better and then there are a few I just couldn’t listen to for one reason or another. I didn’t check all the reviews, but the ones I read weren’t from the audiobook version.

  2. Jo, I’m glad you mentioned the reader as one possible reason you may not have liked the book. I’ve read your reviews of books and it seemed like such a good idea to listen instead of read, especially when one’s eyes are tired, so I decided to try an audio book. I listened for a while and I just could not continue because of the reader’s voice and so decided buying audio books was just not for me. So I’m glad to hear that not liking a book could be the reader, so maybe I will give listening another try and hope I get a reader who makes it interesting. Thanks!

  3. Bohjalian has a new one out, The Sleepwalker and I am reading it from the library. WOWZA! One reviewer on the back said it is his best work yet and I might have to agree! I don’t want to do anything else, but I must. :)

  4. No, I’m not sure if you enjoy Stephen King books but I have an almost complete set of his books. I enjoy listening to audio tape versions also, even have one (can’t remember which one it is) read by Mr. king himself! If your willing to pay for shipping it back to me, I’d happily mail it to you to listen to. BUT I think it’s on a cassette tape lol.
    Jeri Niksich Oldtisme@aol.com

  5. I really enjoyed the snow child so I was looking forward to reading Ivey’s new book…alas, I could not get into it either…I have found with some audiobooks that the person doing the reading can make or break the book for me…I have stopped listening to books because I found the narrator’s voice, inflections, etc annoying….Have you tried any of Elly Griffiths’
    “Ruth Galloway” books…read the Amazon descriptions and reviews…I have really enjoyed her series and love Ruth…!

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